The Philippine Racing Club (PRC), previously known as the Santa Ana Turf Club, is a premium horse racing organisation in the Philippines. The club is situated at the Saddle and Clubs Leisure Park in Naic, Cavite.
The Philippine Racing Club was formed in 1937 under the name of Santa Ana Turf Club in Makati. Since 2013, the club has been one of the three members of the Philippine Racing Commission, along with the MJC (Metro Jockey Club) and the MMTC (Metro Manila Turf Club).
Let’s look at the history of how the PRC came to be and the club facilities and layout.
A History Of The Philippine Racing Club
The Philippine Racing Club was established in 1937 when some American and local businessmen came together to launch a racing club, the Santa Ana Turf Club, which would become the largest racing club in the region at that time.
Those were the initial years of the Commonwealth, and the Santa Ana Turf Club was formed as a competitor to the Manila Jockey Club. The Sta. Ana was the first club to introduce horse racing for thoroughbreds. Two years later, in 1939, the Commonwealth implemented an act to take in the Tuberculosis society in the Annual National Grand Derby horse races. The amendment aimed to promote the breeding of native horses in the country.
When World War II broke out, and the Japanese invaded the Philippines, horse racing activities were put to a halt in the club. However, once the war ended, the activities picked up the pace again in 1946. The Reyes Family took over the club in 1947. Don Aurelio Perugao became the SATC’s president and maintained the title until he passed away in 1972.
After Don Aurelio’s death, his widow Antonia Reyes took over the club’s reins. It was then that the Santa Ana Turf Club was renamed the Philippine Racing Club. The same year, the Philippine Racing Club obtained a 25-year franchise to administer a racecourse and organise horse races under RA No. 6632.
The control of the PRC was shifted to new management in 1994. The following year, on 30th March 1995, the PRC’s horse racing franchise was renewed for another 25 years through RA 7953. The franchise renewal 25-year period started from October 1997 up to 2022.
As per the amendment, PRC has the right to build, run and manage a racetrack facility and conduct races in Makati or any other place within Laguna, Rizal, or Cavite. It also allows PRC to take and arrange racing bets within and outside the country.
Philippine Racing Club Facilities
The racecourse track at Carmona Makati was spread over 25 hectares. Until the end of 2008, this facility was the racetrack for PRC.
The Philippines racing club acquired property of 147 hectares in Naic, Cavite, with the intention to relocate the Santa Ana racecourse from Makati. The company formed a joint venture with Sta. Lucia Realty and Development Corporation for building the new venue.
The last official horse racing at the PRC Makati city racetrack took place on 21st December 2008. On 6th January 2009, the Saddle and Clubs Leisure became the new venue for the Santa Ana racecourse, and the operations of the Philippine Racing Club and the Santa Ana Park were relocated to the new facility.
Meanwhile, the Makati City facility was turned into a commercial-residential project as PRC formed a joint venture with Ayala Land. The repurposed Circuit Makati opened in 2013.
The Saddle and Club Leisure Park has an area of around 147 hectares and accommodates around one thousand thoroughbred horses. The Santa Ana racetrack occupies an area of 65 hectares. The racetrack facility is home to 800 horses that are trained every morning. There is an equine pool near the stables for swimming as part of the practice regimen.
The facility features 78 stable building clusters. Horse owners can lease stables too. Thirty-eight housing barrack units accommodate the stable personnel and their families. The racing personnel are provided with dorm facilities for men and women and are equipped with the requisite amenities.
The facility has a four-story grandstand to accommodate many spectators and bettors watching the races with enthusiasm. Food vendors can be found at specific spots near the grandstand, while there is also a restaurant in the grandstand building.
The Sta. Ana racetrack is used by more or less the same horses, jockeys, and owners that race on the Manila Jockey Club Incorporated and the Metro Manila Turf Club racetrack facilities.
Until 2012, the PRC conducted races every other Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Race venues were consistently shifted between the Manila Jockeys Club and the Philippine Racing Club.
However, when the Metro Manila Turf Club was formed in 2013, races were divided among the three racetracks. The races are conducted so that only one racecourse is functional on a particular race day.
What is the Santa Ana racetrack area at the Naic Cavite facility?
The Santa Ana racetrack has an area of 65 hectares.
When was the first racing event held at the Santa Ana racetrack at the Saddle and Club Leisure’s park?
The Santa Ana racetrack at the Saddle and Club Leisure’s park has been the racing venue for PRC since 6th January 2009.
Who is the governing body of the horse racing clubs in the Philippines?
The Philippine Racing Commission is the governing body of the three racing clubs in the Philippines.